People with a parent, sibling or child with blood cancer are more at risk themselves, according to The Institute of Cancer Research in London.
Using a Swedish database, the familial risk of 150,000 people with blood cancer and 390,000 first-degree relatives was characterized by calculating blood cancer frequency in the relatives.
A familial link was detected in 4.1 per cent of blood cancer diagnoses. That percentage is higher than cancers of the kidney and pancreas, but lower than that of the breast and prostate.
The increase in risk varied on the precise type of blood cancer, but broadly it was dependent on three factors.
Those are, the age of the patient’s diagnosis, whether the patient is a parent, sibling or child and the number of affected relatives.
Blood cancers with the highest familial risk were Hodgkin lymphomas.
Some blood cancers could benefit from additional screening because of their familial association.